Is this ac adapter compatible with my 600m Inspiron?
July 23, 2006 7:40 PM   Subscribe

I purchased (accidentally) a generic ac adapter to replace my non-functioning dell adapter. Will it destroy my computer?

I purchased this generic adapter for my Dell Inspiron 600m.

Buying generic was entirely accidental. I would return it but I am SOL because my computer is sending error messages about my old adapter (it is fraying at the ends) and I need to use my computer tomorrow.

The site says 100% compatible - but I am looking for confirmation from a non-interested party. I will be using regular US outlets.

posted by jengapiece to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
If you're still in warranty, you might not want to risk it (on the off chance it does do something and then Dell won't honor your warranty), but if you're already out of warranty, you should be fine.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:36 PM on July 23, 2006

Check that the ratings for voltage and amperage on the adapters are the same, and also the polarity. Often these things are a bit difficult to read black-on-black plastic. This is trying to sell stuff, but it shows the polarity symbol to look for.
posted by zoinks at 9:47 PM on July 23, 2006

I will second the suggestion by zoinks and put it more strongly: you have a VERY GOOD chance of frying your machine if you plug in an adapter that delivers more power than the original or has the opposite polarity.

The most important thing to do right now is to back up all data you care about (to a location not on your hard drive -- if you don't have an external drive or ipod/etc., google to find a free online storage service) in case anything happens to your laptop. That's basic advice but it's especially important in cases where you have some specific reason to be concerned. Good luck!!
posted by lorimer at 1:21 AM on July 24, 2006

It has been sold for use with a Dell 600m, odds are they at least got the voltage and polarity correct. That doesn't mean you shouldn't check though.

Substituting AC adapters is almost always very simple, yet never, ever, guaranteed. For more details there are many previous questions on the topic tabulated in my answer to Am I using the wrong power adapter. I revised one part of that answer in the sound of silence, but it is probably still fundamentally wrong. I still think it is possible to cause damage due to low voltage, but explaining the mechanism in anything like a straightforward way is proving difficult :P
posted by Chuckles at 7:59 AM on July 24, 2006

Best answer: Oops, had more to say..

They have probably done an okay job of finding a good substitute power supply for your machine, and the chance of damage is pretty slim (but still real and worth protecting yourself against). However, since it isn't the product you expected, and you have paid at least four times what the device is worth (there are many on ebay for about $20.00), I would seriously consider returning it..
posted by Chuckles at 8:06 AM on July 24, 2006

I have a generic (universal) adapter and it works fine.
posted by radioamy at 4:07 PM on July 24, 2006

« Older Chess on the computer for a 6-year-old   |   Everyone's a cousin.... right? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.